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Understand how psychoanalysis contributes to self-knowledge

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See how the therapy created by Freud helps improve mental health and quality of life

Developed at the end of the 19th century by the Austrian doctor Sigmund Freud, psychoanalysis is a therapeutic investigation technique that seeks to interpret contents that go beyond human consciousness. “It is a method whose main source of study is the forces and influence of the unconscious, such as impulses, desires, instincts and repressed memories, in the behavior and formation of the individual’s personality”, explains Patricia Ansarah, psychologist, master coachPsychological safety expert and founder of the International Institute on Psychological Safety (IISP).




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Goals of psychoanalysis

Lelah Monteiro, psychoanalyst and family and couple therapist, comments that, through dreams interpretationwishes, thoughts and memories, psychoanalysis aims to help in the treatment of various pathologies, as well as improve the relationship between the individual and the environment in which he lives.

benefits of psychoanalysis

In addition to relieving mental suffering, the psychoanalytic treatment offers many other benefits. “Psychoanalysis helps the individual to get to know himself better, to work out his desires and emotions and to face fears and frustrations,” lists Lelah Monteiro.

Patricia Ansarah also comments that the benefits of psychoanalytic therapy are long-lasting and impact different areas of life. “The more a person is prepared to deal with their emotions, the easier it will be to develop some interpersonal skills, such as dialogue, listening, empathy and social sensitivity, which are essential for creating healthy and psychologically safe relationships”, she points out. .

psychoanalytic approaches

According to Lelah Monteiro, psychoanalysis has 5 main divisions:

  • Freudian approach: developed by Sigmund Freud, focuses on the study of human mind through the triad ego (rational aspect of personality), superego (moral/social aspect of personality) and ID (impulsive aspect of personality);
  • Lacanian approach: developed by Jacques Lacan, it focuses on the relationship between “I” and “other” based on the language and time of the unconscious;
  • Winnicottian approach: developed by Donald Winnicott, favors the investigation of the child’s relationship with the mother;
  • Kleinian approach: developed by Melanie Klein, focuses on the psychic analysis of the child;
  • Bionian approach: developed by Wilfred Ruprecht Bion, it focuses on more fluid and impersonal techniques. Through the “Theory of groups”, this approach explores the question of belonging of the individual to certain social groups.


Psychoanalysis has specific treatment techniques

treatment techniques

Like other types of therapy, psychoanalysis also has specific treatment techniques. According to Patricia Ansarah, the first method used is attentive listening. In this method the psychotherapist focuses carefully on the conflict that the patient presents at the beginning of the session. Then, through probing questions, the practitioner encourages the patient to rediscover unconscious memories associated with this conflict.

The professional explains that, during these techniques, it is normal for the analyst to follow four specific rules. Are they:

  • Free word association: the analyst must guide the patient to verbalize what he wants, without worrying about reasoning or ethical and moral questions;
  • Floating Attention: the analyst must suspend his conscious biases in order to discover what is significant in the patient’s statements;
  • Abstinence: the analyst must refrain from any desire or activity other than that of interpretation;
  • Neutrality: the analyst must not let himself be emotionally involved in the patient.

Who is psychoanalysis suitable for?

In general, psychoanalysis is suitable for those who want to get to know each other better. Lelah Monteiro, on the other hand, clarifies that treatment should be more effective for those dealing with depression, relationship problems, sexual disorders, eating disorders, feelings of maladjustment and phobias.

duration of treatment

The duration of a treatment with a psychoanalytic approach varies according to the patient’s needs. Mauro Mendes Dias, psychoanalyst and director of the Vox Institute for Research in Psychoanalysis, warns that, in many cases, the recommendation is that the therapeutic process be followed up on a long-term basis.

Psychoanalysis and drug use

Depending on the case, psychoanalysis can also be aligned with the use of drugs prescribed by a psychiatrist. “OR treatment the psychoanalyst is in solidarity with the use of the drug, especially when the subject demonstrates that he is unable to maintain himself without this resource to support his life and the problems that afflict him”, clarifies Mauro Mendes Dias.

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Source: Terra

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